A LETTER TO THE GOOD CITIZEN OF NIGERIA
Reports of the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty worldwide, which comes out on 17th October each year, that of the Brooklyn Institute, the World Bank, the Economist and The Financial Times of London all paint a gory picture of the Nigeria of today as a country facing intractable challenges from all fronts. With a GDP of approximately $432.3 billion, which makes her the largest economy in Africa and home to the richest people in the continent, but whose unemployment rate stands at 33.3% and harbours 87 million extremely poor people, Nigeria’s situation is an aberration. The AfDB report of 2018 also shows that poverty is widespread in Nigeria because of bad government, mismanagement of resources, corruption, nepotism, and inefficiency. Not only has the failure of governments at Federal, State and Local levels exacerbated the situation, insider abuse in the banking sector; connivance, day-light heist and cheating in nearly all private outfits have been the front, centre and back of the stumbling block forestalling the country’s rebirth. This ominous trend recently caused the country to take over from India as one harbouring the poorest people on earth. The electric power supply is described as the worst across the globe. There’s palpable tension everywhere across the country exposing the fault lines as defined by ethnicity and religion. Lack of gainful employment has forced millions of able-bodied youths to flee the country in search of greener pastures. Many risk their lives trekking across the Sahara Desert and crossing the Mediterranean Sea on rafts just to escape the untold hardship in the country. Others turn themselves to cannon fodder in the hands of wicked insurgency elements who take up arms against their country even as many others find succour in common burglary, arm robbery and kidnapping for ransom.
Without any doubt, the extent of decay is very profound and continues to metastasize. But I have a robust confidence that it is possible for the good citizens of Nigeria to come together, think big and bold, take the bull by the horn and make a determined effort to change this sordid narrative instead of fleeing abroad. My confidence is borne out of the fact that Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and natural resources, excellent weather conditions and a teeming population of energetic, highly resourceful and patriotic youths spread across the 36 states of the Federation, inclusive of all the 774 local government areas as well as the FCT.
Failure of leadership in both public and private sectors of the economy is not a good enough reason for the good citizens to throw up their hands in the air, do nothing and watch their common patrimony go to wrack and ruin. To some extent, we have all contributed to the embarrassing state Nigeria finds herself today. The followership determines the type of leadership they get. The situation calls for the concerted effort of every good citizen of Nigeria to join hands and salvage the country through a massive, unprecedented self-help programme designed to create jobs for millions of Nigerians, lift them out of abject poverty while also spreading goodwill across the country. We are therefore, selecting a core group of good citizens in both public and private establishments to undertake the process of rebuilding and regenerating the fabric of the Nigerian society. We must not all fall into a deep depression and allow Nigeria to collapse on our hands. Neither must we allow our silence show that we have all joined the growing collection of criminals tormenting Nigeria.
This proposal has the potential to be the game changer for Nigeria. I want you reading this to know that there is a strong case to be made to the effect that the good citizens of Nigeria can make this happen for the profit of our dear country. We must avoid a future that condemns us all to wearing the label of the giant of Africa who go cap-in-hand begging for foreign aids to finance her budget. The good Nigerian citizen must stand and be counted. We must be ready to take back our country from the vice-like grip of corruption, inefficiency, nepotism, selfishness, joblessness and clannishness. This platform will not only engage with the good citizens, it will also involve them with envisioning the hope and aspiration for a good day and a better tomorrow for Nigeria.
If you would like to be a member of the ‘Good Citizen of Nigeria’ campaign, working quietly behind the scenes to ensure that Nigeria is going in the right direction, please engage with us and register via the link ………………
Felix Babatunde Obada, PhD
Executive Vice Chairman, NeGSt
Ten Qualities of the Good Citizen of Nigeria
The good citizen of Nigeria:
1. Is law abiding and respects the constituted authority.
2. Shows loyalty and patriotism to the country.
3. Loves Nigeria and always renders selfless service.
4. Shows courtesy and respect for the rights of other people.
5. Is trustworthy, honest and ready to do what is right at all times.
6. Defends the peace, progress and unity of Nigeria.
7. Has self-discipline, highly resilient and ethical.
8. Resourceful, courageous and bold.
9. Acts in a manner that brings honour to Nigeria.
10. Fair and just in all his/her dealings.